I love the month of January because it’s an opportunity to start afresh. The New Year for me signifies a new season as well as a new beginning with renewed hope and energy. It is also the time of year when we are consumed by the media highlighting in their headlines, the different types of “Year in Review” for arts, travel and acts of heroism. Headlines carrying titles such as the person of the year, the best dressed male or female, the best songs, the best books, the best restaurants, the top magazines, the top travel destination and the best movies, to name a few. For the last 12 years, I too have been completing my own “Year in Review” reflection which helps me gauge where I am richer in wisdom at the close of the year. Whether one views the experiences last year as good or bad, each one offers an opportunity to become richer in wisdom, heading into the New Year more prepared than ever to be more resilient.
Here’s are a few lessons I learnt in 2017:-
1. Stepping out in faith is a lifestyle. Franklin D Roosevelt said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something is more important than fear.” That project, that business idea, that change in environment that you always wanted but didn’t because of the fear that things would fail or that people would laugh at you. Start taking action and being intentional! Faith requires corresponding action.
2. Love is action not an emotion In spite of our faults and mistakes, selfishness or sin, God loves us. Nothing we do can change that. I am definitely on the journey of learning that love is indeed an action.
3. Depending on myself or my strength is a bad idea. I need that reminder very often that I must trust God to help me. Sometimes we can get discouraged and become afraid of those things that are seemingly bigger than us, we need to remember that God is with us and will help us. Not only that He will sustain us and give us success.
4. Authentic community is the key to becoming an authentic person.
5. Keep working diligently. It takes focus and discipline to keep working toward any goal
6. Persistence is the key to developing a prayer lifestyle
7. Taking short breaks and refresh oneself is vital. Always being on the go is a badge of honour for many persons however, your body eventually screams out and you become severely exhausted.
8. Changing course does not mean giving up. With family commitments, other responsibilities and the unexpected events of life, I had to make changes along the way. A traffic diversion does not mean you won’t reach your intended destination.
9. Give thanks always. Sometimes we can get caught up in the busyness of life and forget to honour God with praise and thanksgiving. I have learnt to be intentional about pausing and thinking about how God has helped me and giving Him thanks for His blessings.
With all I have learnt in 2017, I will keep moving forward intentionally, more importantly I will not cling to my old ways as I step into the New Year! I will seek His Face with an open mind, knowing that my journey with Him involves being transformed by the renewing of my mind.
My challenge to you:
With all the peaks and valleys that you experienced in 2017, still focus and reflect on the wisdom you’ve gained over the last 12 month.
What have you learnt in the last 12 months? How will you apply those lessons in 2018?